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    We can believe the Error Theory

    Lillehammer, Hallvard and Möller, N. (2015) We can believe the Error Theory. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3), pp. 453-459. ISSN 1386-2820.

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    Abstract

    Bart Streumer argues that it is not possible for us to believe the error theory, where by ‘error theory’ he means the claim that our normative beliefs are committed to the existence of normative properties even though such properties do not exist. In this paper, we argue that it is indeed possible to believe the error theory. First, we suggest a critical improvement to Streumer’s argument. As it stands, one crucial premise of that argument—that we cannot have a belief while believing that there is no reason to have it—is implausibly strong. We argue that for his purposes, Streumer’s argument only requires a weaker premise, namely that we cannot rationally have a belief while believing that there is no reason to have it. Secondly, we go on to refute the improved argument. Even in its weaker form, Streumer’s argument is either invalid or the crucial premise should be rejected.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: “NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Artificial Intelligence. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Artificial Intelligence, August 2014, DOI:10.1007/s10677-014-9532-x
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Error theory, Bart Streumer, Normative reasons, Belief formation
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Hallvard Lillehammer
    Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2014 12:02
    Last Modified: 06 Jul 2020 23:09
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/10302

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